Court discharges, acquits man for alleged armed robbery

One Kingsley Nathan accused of conspiracy to commit armed robberyhas been discharged and acquitted by the FCT High Court.

Gavel

The defendant, a resident of Gwagwa, Abuja, was accused of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, punishable under Sections 97 and 298 of the Penal Code.

Delivering his judgment, the judge held that the police did not do a thorough investigation to prove the allegation levelled against the defendant.

Yusuf also said that the police did not follow the normal process of the law when it took statement from the defendant as pronounced by Section 17(1) (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

He added that the police also neglected Section 9 (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2011, which provided for recording of statement at the police station through video.

“From the above, there are two major issues which are germane in the said section 9 (3) of the law in question.

“They are to the effect that whenever an arrest of a suspect is made and he volunteers a statement, the police officer in charge of the investigation shall ensure that the whole process of making and taking the confessional statement is recorded in video which may be produced during trial.

“In the absence of such video facility at the police station, such a confessional statement shall be made in the presence of a legal practitioner chosen by the accused person himself,’’ he said.

Yusuf said that the Investigation Police Officer (IPO) in an attempt to obtain a quick result did not carry out an in-depth investigation into the matter.

“The investigation police officer was bent on following the law but he was eager to achieve quick and positive results to please their superiors in the absence of adequate resources to carry out details and in-depth investigation of cases assigned to them,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendant had earlier denied the allegation and pleaded not guilty in the trial which began on November 2015.

The Prosecution Counsel, Mrs Chioma Oniogbu had informed the court via the charge sheet that Nathan committed the crime alongside others still at large.

Oniogbu said that the defendant conspired with others and robbed one Prof. Godwin Egwu of Plot 216, National Assembly Quarters, Life Camp, Abuja.

The professor was said to have been robbed of his three laptop computers, one flat screen television, one I-pad, two Blackberry phones, two Nokia phones, an android phone and gold necklaces.

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